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EDITOR: Open letter to the El Dorado Hills community and beyond:
Please don’t let it be too late. Please let me be on time.
Dear children of recent African descent, and viper (to put it kindly):
It grieves me to bring you this news of a sad, stale threat, but a warning and antidote are here. You who think colors are just colors. Who had no control over your color. Who won’t know until you seek fun and happiness on a springy day that skin color matters to some in your midst, mostly under veils.
Beware! Someone has planted malicious poison in El Dorado Hills, on a climbing structure near the slide in Serrano’s Village Green. The poison, carved in and intended to last, is “WP! KKK” (“White Power! Ku Klux Klan,” for those of you still living on solid ground). How many children have already been poisoned, frightened? How many adults are dying again? How many decent people of all shades have had their spirits shattered?
When you go to the park, please take this antivenin with you, and give some to those among your friends who will also be or have already been prey: You are welcome to play in this park and to be anywhere else children are permitted. I welcome you, as do most folks. I love you, as do most folks. You are loved no matter your color — your beautiful color! Enjoy the park joyously, as my daughter does.
As for the venomous vandal, who and what poisoned you? What is your cure? You weren’t born this way. No normal child is. Did our schools fail to teach you, though it shouldn’t matter, that scientific evidence reveals that all modern humans, including you, share ancestors who lived in Africa? In fact, DNA studies show that all humans are 99.9 percent genetically identical (American Museum of Natural History Website). Yet rather than celebrate this unity, attempting to create an artificial division of humanity you viciously attack it and, by implication, even yourself. Societal dereliction of duty would be deplorable, but, if you aren’t suffering from insanity, the greater tragedy is that someone not loved enough didn’t love you enough and poisoned you, or that you grew up spiritually starved.
Whatever ignited your combustible soul into bigotry, if you, the white supremacist, should read this, I can only hope that my words will begin to awaken your heart from the nightmare it has been living, and you learn to appreciate and care for your neighbors, people whose services you depend upon, children, and all humankind — no matter their color. I think you would find love much more satisfying than unprovoked hostility; moreover, love will outlast your senseless hate by an eternity.
You are welcome to this park and anywhere else when … you are well. Please get well soon.
Of lighter skin in El Dorado Hills
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